Pukke crowned club champs

September 23, 2011
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NWU-Pukke won their fourth SARU National Club Championship title in eight years when they beat the University of Johannesburg 19-14 in a tense final played at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch on Friday.

The Potchefstroom students, who were given little chance heading into the tournament, after a disappointing FNB Varsity Cup campaign and a semi-final loss to Raiders in the Golden Lions’ Predator League, showed that they are nevertheless past masters of tournament rugby.

In the first-ever final between the two teams in the competition’s 37-year history, Puk’s heroes were scrumhalf Jean Tiedt, who nervelessly kicked 14 points by way of four penalties and a conversion, and left wing Johannes Seerane, who scored the deciding try of a tightly-contested match after having scored a brace in their 39-36 semi-final win over hosts Maties.

Seerane was deservedly named backline player of the tournament for his efforts.

In the first final since 2007 to feature two university teams, and the first since 2004 between two northern-union teams, UJ enjoyed a slender 8-6 lead at the break, thanks to a try from wing Lolo Waka and a penalty from Luan Steenkamp.

But the Johannesburg students, who were aiming for a third trophy in 2011 after winning the Golden Lions’ Pirates Grand Challenge and Predator Leagues, could not convert their chances when it mattered despite dominating upfront.

UJ, who ended defending champions College Rovers’ two-year unbeaten run in the semi-finals, when they held on for a nailbiting 27-26 victory, did however have the consolation of having lock Marnus van Huyssteen and eighthman Justin Wheeler announced as forward and overall player of the tournament respectively.

In the Plate competition, Shimlas withstood a late onslaught from Boland champions Roses United to run out 48-26 winners and so claim their third consecutive title.

Awards:

Forward Player of the Tournament: Marnus van Huyssteen (UJ)

Backline Player of the Tournament: Johannes Seerane (Pukke)

Player of the Tournament: Justin Wheeler (UJ)

Tournament results:

Cup final

UJ 14 – Try: Lolo Waka. Penalties: Luan Steenkamp (3).

Pukke 19 – Try: Johannes Seerane. Conversion: Jean Tiedt. Penalties: Tiedt (4).

Plate final

Shimlas 48 – Tries: Henk Eksteen (2), Shaun Blignaut (3), Erik le Roux (2), Gerrit Theron. Conversion: Reinhardt Erwee (4).

Roses United 26 – Tries: Clinton Oncker, Angelo Booyse, Ashton Constant, Geoffrey Allies. Conversions: Jacquin Jansen (3).

Cup semi-finals:

College Rovers 26 UJ 27

Maties 36 Pukke 39

Plate semi-finals:

Shimlas 85 Noordelikes 0

Roses United 40 Progress 27

Cup quarter-finals:

College Rovers 44 Winter Rose 6

Maties 43 Tuks 22

UJ 41 Welkom Rovers 20

Pukke 37 Park 14

Plate quarter-finals:

Shimlas 29 SK Walmers 15

Roses United 40 Middelburg 22

Noordelikes 29 Springs 27

Progress 22 Kimberley Police 12

First round:

UJ 91 Noordelikes 21

Park 28 Progress 27

Shimlas 12 Winter Rose 18

Springs 36 Welkom Rovers 40

Pukke 117 Kimberley Police 0

Roses United 22 Tukkies 39

Maties 61 Middelburg 20

College Rovers 46 SK Walmers 0

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One Comment

  1. avatar DavidS Bok on his heart not his shoulder says:
    September 23rd, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I must say that having visited the Potch campus last week and the way these students study and cling to their Afrikaans heritage I am proud to have seen them win. I feel more kinship with Pukke than with UJ where I spent four years.

    Congrats Pukkies

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